Trope-a-Day: Space Is Air

Space Is Air: Averted, because it really, really isn’t, and all our spacecraft move nothing like aircraft, promise!

The only vague seeming non-aversions are the following:

  • Some starships do in fact run their engines all the time. That’s because they have astonishingly powerful and efficient engines that let them fly brachistochrone courses, in which they accelerate halfway, flip, and decelerate. Unlike aircraft, however, throughout the back half of such a journey the engine is directed ahead of the ship.
  • It actually is possible to make elegant swooping and banking turns in space, if you’re willing to waste money, time, and fuel using your attitude control system to force your starship through the otherwise unnecessary and quite unnatural maneuver. As such, it is the purview of people who own fancy overpowered yachts and suchlike with hot-shot pilots who want to give their passengers – or themselves – a good view.